About Us Brands Download Contact Counter Sales FAQ Freight Payments Products Search Site Technical More Links...

Speed - Bearings - Technical

Bearing Speed / Limiting Speed

Limiting speed is the speed at which a bearing can operate at light loads and normal operating conditions without failing prematurely. It is a guide only. Application speeds can vary greatly.

Bearings in dental handpieces often run at speeds of up to 3 times their limiting speed, however they are not expected to last as long as bearings in less demanding applications.

Published limiting speeds apply to applications involving a rotating shaft. Speeds for applications involving a rotating housing can be up 30% lower.

Many factors combine to affect the attainable speed and expected life of a bearing. Factors affecting speed and life include ...


The limiting speed of a bearing is based on lightly loaded running conditions. Increasing the load will adversely affect the attainable speed and/or bearing life. An increase in either load or speed may sometimes be compensated by a decrease in the other resulting in a similar life expectancy.

It is important to note that a deep groove radial ball bearing should not be subjected to undue axial loads, and axial type bearings (such as angular contact or thrust bearings) should not be subjected to undue radial loads.


Vibration can be a major factor in bearing failure by causing brinelling or flaking of the races. If your bearings are operating under vibratory conditions you will not be able to achieve the same speeds that you could under perfectly smooth conditions. Attempting to increase speeds under vibratory conditions will quickly lead to bearing failure.


Lubrication is a major consideration with regards to bearing speed. We list a limiting speed for both standard oil and standard grease lubrication in our datasheets which are available by contacting our sales department.

Oil lubrication generally achieves higher speeds than grease lubrication. Increasing lubricant viscosity will reduce the permissible speed, whilst decreasing the viscosity will increase the permissible speed. Oil mists are used for very high speed applications. Use of silicone based oils and greases requires lower speed.

Cage Type

Often, the first part of a bearing to fail under high speed is the cage. The use of a synthetic cage designed for high speed helps to correct this. Synthetic cages are made from a variety of material including nylon, polyamide and phenolic. Our datasheets show the limiting speed allowing for each bearings cage type. These are available by contacting our sales department by email.

Temperature and Clearance

Low or high temperatures can adversely affect bearing life. Low temperatures can cause components to become brittle and lubricants to harden. High temperatures can cause parts to bind due to expansion and lubricants to melt and evacuate the bearing. These effects can be somewhat controlled by use of an adequate high or low temperature lubricant and purchasing bearings with increased internal clearance to allow for expansion.

Moisture and Contaminants

Strict cleanliness is essential to the correct functioning of bearings. Bearings requiring contact with excessive moisture or even lubrication by water should be made from 316 stainless steel, acetal or even full ceramic. These materials are only suitable for low speeds and loads.


Correct mounting is essential to the correct running of the bearing. A poorly aligned assembly, or incorrect housing/shaft tolerances will result in slower attainable speeds and premature failure. Incorrect housing/shaft tolerances can result in a lessening of the bearing internal clearance.


The use of higher precision may be suggested if the bearing is to run at speeds above the standard limiting speed. Bearing Shop Online limiting speeds are already adjusted to take consideration of this effect.


Contact seals reduce the speed capabilities of a bearing. Bearing Shop Online limiting speeds are already adjusted to take consideration of this effect.

You can find many types of bearings in the Bearing Shop Online Bearings Online Catalogue pages.

The Small Parts and Bearings has a much larger range of engineering supplies.

Hobby and Engineering Supplies lists a smaller range of products and only the most popular items in each range. They also list many additional hobby specific categories.

For the best range of miniature and small bearings please try the Miniature Bearings Australia website. Miniature Bearings Australia also list a large variety of miniature engineering products.

Other pages related to Technical - Bearings

Click Page Banner Below


Other Technical Pages

Click Page Banner Below


Main Pages

Click Page Banner Below




Accessories Assortments Ball Parallels Ball Screw Accessories Ball Screws 16mm SDP Ball Screws Ground Ball Screws Rolled Ball Transfers Balls Ceramic Balls Metallic Balls Plastic Balls Rubber Bearings 316 Stainless Bearings Acetal Bearings Angular Contact Bearings Automotive Bearings Ceramic Bearings Clutch Bearings Conveyor Bearings Cylindrical Roller Bearings Double Row Ball Bearings Flanged Ball Bearings Grooved Profile Bearings Housings Bearings Hydrodynamic Bearings Mounted Bearings Needle Roller Bearings One Way Clutch Bearings PEEK Bearings Pivot Bearings Plates Bearings Press In Bearings Scale Bearings Self Aligning Ball Bearings Single Row Ball Bearings Special Purpose Bearings Spherical Roller Bearings Tapered Roller Bearings Thrust

Paypal Accepted
Secure Checkout

Bearings and Housings Insert Bearings for Dental Equipment Bearings for Housings Bearings for Skating Bearings for Wheelbarrows Belts Timing XL Pitch 15 Brushless Motor Bearings Bushes Bronze Bushes Plastic Bushes Steel Bushings Spherical Cam Followers Carburettor Parts Castors Accessories Castors Plate Castors Stud Circlips Clips Collars Dental Bearing Kits Dental Handpiece Parts Disk Cleaning Machine Drylin Bearings and Systems Dual Vee Bearings Engineering and Hobby Rod Fastening Bushings Fishing Reel Parts Food Processor Parts Gearbox Parts Gearmotors Basic Housings with Bearing Jockey Wheel Thrust Bearings Lazy Susans Leadscrews Linear Bearing Housings Linear Bearings Linear Bearings with Housing Linear Slides Locking Compounds MRI Table Bearings

Visa Card Accepted
Secure Checkout

Nuts Lock for Bearings ORings ORings for Dental Applications Oil Seals Pins Roll Positioning Power Tool Parts Pressure Rollers Pulleys Vee Pushbike Bearings Robotic Wheels Rod Ends PTFE Lined Rod Ends Plastic Rod Ends Stainless Steel Rod Ends Stamped Rod Ends Standard Rod Ends Studded Rollers Screws Grub Socket Set Screws Thumb Shafting Aluminium Shafting General Purpose Shafting Precision Ground Shaftloc Sleeves Special Effects Lighting Spring Washers Springs Disc Square Shaft Stroke Rotary Bushings Surplus Stock Swimming Pool Bearings Tension Bushings Thread Tools Threading Tube and Tubing Vacuum Cleaner Belts Washers Flat Metallic Washers Lock Wear Strips

Master Card Accepted
Secure Checkout

Wheels Industrial

Site Summary

Freight Rates
Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy

Bearing Shop Online offers 25069 products in 533 categories including ball bearings, roller bearings, thrust bearings, ceramic and ceramic hybrid bearings, stainless steel bearings, miniature bearings, linear bearings, shafting, oil seals and adhesives - see the full listing in the Online Catalogue. We have excellent Freight Rates within Australia and worldwide. We offer a choice of delivery with a signature required, or cheaper options with no signature required. The no signature required options are at the customer’s risk once the goods leave our store.

Using the links throughout this site you will find extensive information including catalogues, technical data, and other product specific information. We sell our products worldwide through our online store and our overseas freight rates are competitive for fully traceable courier delivery.

Bearing Shop Online is part of MBA Group offering a select range from the MBA Group catalogue.

Bearing Shop Online products are not authorised for sale into the USA or Canada due to the reluctance of Australian insurers to provide product liability insurance into those two countries.

Information on this website is Copyright Bearing Shop Online 1997. All rights reserved.